How Metaman is foraying into Gen Z segment with the acquisition of Drip Project

Founded in early 2022 by Anil Shetty and Suniel Shetty, Metaman is a D2C men’s jewellery brand. After acquiring Drip Project, the brand has now forayed into hip-hop jewellery, offering affordable yet high-quality products to Gen Z.

How Metaman is foraying into Gen Z segment with the acquisition of Drip Project

Tuesday October 31, 2023,

5 min Read

A few years ago at a movie premiere, Anil Shetty, Co-founder of MetaMan, noticed his friend and Bollywood actor Suniel Shetty wearing a necklace that belonged to his mother. 

This sparked a conversation between the duo, where the actor expressed his disappointment with the limited options for men's jewellery brands in India, and Anil had an idea for a venture. 

In early 2022, he conceived Metaman—a design-oriented direct-to-consumer (D2C) jewellery brand specifically tailored for Indian men. He also brought Suniel Shetty on board as a founding mentor and an investor in the company. 

Later, in January 2023, the Mumbai-based brand acquired luxury jewellery brand Drip Project—founded in November 2021 by Harsh Maskara and Rohit Golia—for $1 million. It had become the leading hip-hop jewellery brand in just six months. 

Wearing hip-hop jewellery is an emerging trend in India but lacks established players who truly understand customer preferences, says Maskara. The Drip Project was born from this insight—to redefine hip-hop jewellery in India on a budget.

“We wanted to expand and build Asia’s leading Gen Z jewellery brand for everyone—men and women, which is why we are expanding and will be focussing on the Drip Project,” says Co-founder Anil.

Collection from Drip Project by Metaman

Collection from Drip Project by Metaman

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Recently, the team discontinued the Metaman website and brought all its collections under one roof—Drip Project. Also, post the acquisition, Maskara joined Metaman as a co-founder and Golia as a member of the Board of Advisors.

“Some new exciting launches are coming up. We are going to focus on the Drip Project by Metaman from now onwards,” Maskara says.

Journey so far

In November 2022, Metaman launched its exclusive men’s jewellery brand, which included bracelets, chains, rings, and pendants—made with brass, silver, and gold starting at Rs 1,999. The brand launched 20 exquisite debut products on its website. 

The collection, imagined by designer Pallavi Foley, offers jewellery suiting every occasion—from daily office wear to traditional wear, casual wear, beach wear, sportswear, and travel wear. With the acquisition of the Drip Project in January, it diversified into catering to the Gen Z segment.

“Drip Project is an affordable luxury jewellery brand brewed in India that curates meticulously designed statement pieces inspired from a multitude of cultures handcrafted to uncompromised quality,” he says.

Drip Project started as a bootstrapped passion project in the living room of Maskara and Golia, who micro-managed every aspect of the business while macro-scaling it. 

“It’s been a fruitful journey full of learnings, and with Metaman stepping in, we hope to continue leading the space from the front,” Maskara adds.

Drip Project by Metaman’s trendsetting pieces have graced the covers of Filmfare, Hello Magazine, and Lifestyle Asia, among others. The brand is popular among Bollywood celebrities and musicians, making it synonymous with luxury and individuality in India's jewellery scene.

Its products are priced starting at Rs 1,000 going up to Rs 20,000. The brand uses brass as the base metal for all its jewellery, which is plated with white gold making a high quality and affordable product.

Growth and way ahead

According to Euromonitor International, India is quickly overtaking the US to become the third-largest market for men's jewellery, which was estimated to be around Rs 954 crore in 2021 and further projected to have a growth of 36.4% by 2022.

Drip Project by Metaman claims to be the leading hip-hop jewellery brand in India, with more than 30,000 unique customers. While there are no direct competitors, the brand still sees competition from like Noble Sculptor, Zillionaire, etc.

At present, the brand is doing monthly sales of over Rs 60 lakh through its own website. It aims to reach Rs 1.5 crore in monthly sales in the next few months. 

In April 2022, the company raised $1 million in a pre-seed round led by a handful of angel investors, including Suniel Shetty, Nikhil Kamath (Zerodha), KL Rahul (Indian cricketer), Shradha Sharma (YourStory), Ashish Hemrajani (BookMyShow), Prashanth Prakash (Accel Partners), Sujeet Kumar (Udaan), Harshil Mathur and Shashank Kumar (RazorPay), and many more. 

It also closed an undisclosed pre-Series A round this September led by Blume Founders Fund and a group of angel investors, such as Ankita Vasista (StrongerHer Venture), Priti Sawant (Joules 2 Watt), Jayakumar Babu (Argo Trade), Arjun Santhanakrishna (GS Global), Ashwin Pai, Amit Bothra, Bharath Hegde, and Vinod Gowda, among others.

The brand will use the investment to penetrate the Indian market by expanding its product catalogue from 500 to over 1,000 products and building more inventory. 

"Drip Project by Metaman is entering a new era that will allow us to accelerate our growth, expand our market reach, and further enhance our offerings to serve our customers better… We aim to evolve in the luxury streetwear jewellery industry of India, which is seeing Gen Z and millennials bringing back the trend with style,” adds Anil.

It is also working on launching 200 new product designs in the next six months. 

“We also have a specially curated collection with Suniel Shetty, celebrity photographer Rahul Jhangiani, and Hakim Aalim coming out in the next few months,” Maskara says. 

Besides its retail expansion plans in India, the brand also plans to expand in Dubai, Indonesia, Singapore, and Australia in 2024.

Edited by Suman Singh